Fanelli D. Why growing retractions are (mostly) a good sign. PLoS Medicine 2013;10(12):e1001563
The number of journals issuing retractions has grown dramatically in recent years, but the number of retractions per retracting-journal has not increased. Growing numbers of retractions are most plausibly a sign that researchers and journal editors are getting better at identifying and removing papers that are either fraudulent or plainly wrong, and there is little evidence of an increase in the prevalence of misconduct. Nevertheless, many journals still lack clear policies for misconduct and retraction, and existing policies are applied inconsistently.